View Full Version : the die is cast
Thad Van Gilder
12-11-2006, 09:48 AM
well, the furnace is cast.
I cast my furnace out of a homemade refractory cement. The recipe was 4 parts perlite to 1 part furnace cement.
I did the first firing saturday, and it didn't crack. I baked the lid in the oven and that didn't crack either.
Next weekend I am doing a full on propane fired firing.
I'll keep you all posted. By the way, total cost on the furnace and propane burner was 30 bucks.
12-11-2006, 04:39 PM
Good luck, interested in how it goes. I've tinkered in home casting. Never really got it down.
12-11-2006, 05:01 PM
How do you make the cement and where did you get designs?
12-11-2006, 07:57 PM
What burner did you chose? I've seen much more expensive ones but have never been convinced that they were necessary (all from reading - I'm contemplating doing some casting in my shop, but my experience is limited).
12-11-2006, 09:07 PM
Want to hear all about your progress. I have been dreaming of doing some casting for several years.
I have an old lawn roller steel drum that has been patiently waiting to be turned into a furnace. I squirrel away furnace and burner plans (reil, etc) when I see them on the internet and then lose track of them as computers get sold, get the OS reinstalled and DON'T get backed up.
Yesterday I started a list of basics to order from BCS (Budget Casting Supplies) and I figure to start with a very basic charcoal furnace in the backyard with some firebrick and a blower. Plan to get a couple of crucibles ( Bronze and Alum ) and start by casting some ingots and then experiment with some lost foam patterns.
Would love to get some info on basic investment/lost wax and give that a try ..... soon?
Perlite, as in vermiculite? No fooling? I once had to patch a MAJOR leak in a tugboat exhaust stack, and with the materials we had on board I ended up cutting up a small piece of fiberglass cloth into 1/2" short snips, and mixed that with Red Devil. Took the heat just fine, strong and easy to work with. Don't know if it would take really high heat.
Thad Van Gilder
12-13-2006, 09:34 AM
OK, I used furnace cement from the big orage store. 10 bucks a half gallon.
I casted it in a 5 gallon plastic bucket with a number 10 coffee can wrapped in newspaper inside it.
I fired it, burn't out the paper and softened the bucket.
after the firing, I removed the coffee can, and while it was firing i cut the bucket off with a utility knife. the bucket didn't melt, it just got soft. (there was 3 inches of refractory between it and the can.)
I made the lid by eye like a kid with a mudpie. I baked it in the stove on a cookie sheet at 450 for 2 hours. I think it worked, but I want to make a new one with a mold already.
Oh yeah, after the initial firing, I will coat the whole inside with furnace cement.
I made the propane burner from a website on forging. it essentially was made from a 1 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch bell reducer attached to a 3/4 pipe nipple. the reducer was cross drilled for a 1/8 inch red brass 4 " pipe nipple caped on one end and hooked to the propane on the other. The orifice was a #60 hole drilled in the red brass pipe nipple and aimed down the 3/4 inch pipe nipple. I'll post the website when I find it again.
12-15-2006, 09:32 AM
I went much more primitive. Built a kiln from firebrick, used blacksmiths coal, a blow drier through exhaust pipe for a bellows. I moved from that house before I had success, but I did melt and cast some pennies as an experiment.
Thad Van Gilder
12-17-2006, 08:32 PM
so I fired her up, and the inside of the furnace turned into glass...
guess that furnace cement wasn't up to the job!!!
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